Customer complaint as Youtube hit
A few years ago, the following story went viral: The Canadian folk singer Dave Carroll flew with United Airlines to Nebraska and got his guitar at the airport pretty broken back. When United refused to pay, Carroll just made a song about it and uploaded it to YouTube. 5 million views and various reports on CNN and MSNBC later United wanted to pay then.
Apart from the fact that the video shows very nicely how little squeamish airlines handle baggage, this musical complaint is a nice indication of what is possible in the social media age, when customers put up with creative, original ideas to defend can - to (Image) damage the company.
Complaint management - useful or not?
Most Company have complaint management departments that should absorb and somehow manage the displeasure of customers. But in case of emergency, when customers even complain publicly by video, most companies are not equipped and panic is all too often.
"I am an entrepreneur, the customers have good to buy and shut up." According to this motto, despite digitization and globalization in Germany apparently still many companies that have not yet understood, that the maxims of the new economy are different: namely To see customers as people who help to find mistakes and eliminate weak points - productive complaint management.
What happens to you as a customer
This happened to me recently, for example, when I recently complained to my telecommunications provider - one who has won an award for customer service. And not because of a triviality, but because they simply forgot contrary to my job, to quit my old provider and the contract had continued without my knowledge.
When I now wanted to reimburse the double cost, I was initially fed with a standard letter, after which you could not reimburse the cost - and then followed the explanation why that was done. On my complaint that you have made a mistake in the telephone contract, was not received at all.
On a call from my side, I now received the information, I must complain in writing, by letter or fax and with signature. If I did not, I could just get the standard answer. That makes no sense to me at all and is pure customer chicanes.
That's how good customer service works
So I called now a bit more energetic, but not unfriendly, the self-employed hotline, a total of three attempts because I could not explain to the people right away that the DSL hotline could not help me.
Finally, I had a friendly colleague on the phone who could settle the matter in five minutes to my satisfaction. And what did he put into his form: the customer escalated! At my request he explained to me in a true-hearted way that in the jargon of the company, that is just the expression when customers call several times and demand something more forcefully their right. Great. Then I know now what this company thinks of its customer.
4 tips for companies
But what can companies do concretely to improve their customer service? 4 tips.
1. Calculate budget for complaint management
But the problems are deeper: namely in the budget, which is granted for the complaint management. Dissatisfied customers simply cost money and would actually have to be calculated. Exactly that does not happen in many enterprises: budget for complaint management simply does not exist.
Unlike selling products where performance is clearly defined and the price is clearly defined, customer service and complaint management are services that, at first glance, do not appear to be open to the consumer at all and can quickly run to the limit.
2. Customer service included
Consultation example: Often, the questioner is not clear what the temporal scope of their simple question takes; An effort namely, in addition to the creation of a clear customer profile often includes lengthy research, you want to come as a consultant, finally, to a reasonable, serious statement.
And customers are surprised when this simple information costs hourly rates of 80 Euro or more. Some are even offended because they can not and do not want to help out of sheer philanthropy.
3. Always stay calm when dealing with complaints
The jug goes to the well until it breaks: this statement applies in many cases to the complaint management of companies. Again and again I experience this as a customer: On innocent inquiries you suddenly and unexpectedly feel the whole frustration of the entrepreneur. And then I think every time: this is the way entrepreneurs should not react better.
Because: companies whose employees freak out on the hotline because the customer demands things that you can not afford at the price, has already lost. Because he only shows his helplessness to oppose the everywhere raging price war corresponding business concepts. In addition, the customer usually has no idea how high the equivalent of his claim. That, too, has to be communicated.
4. Clearly redirect services and service
It is better to outline its services, including service, from the outset in a clearer and more transparent manner so that the customer knows exactly what he can and can not get. Especially in the service sector, this is sometimes difficult. And even if you clearly communicate it to the customer, it is not clear if he understands it.
In addition, you have to make it clear to the customer that, for example, you do not act out of pure philanthropy but out of entrepreneurial consideration. That is to say: for good performance there should also be good money. that also includes a good complaint management.
Conclusion: customer service means to act entrepreneurially
Even though entrepreneurial activity seems to have the negative connotation of pure selfishness for many, one should not wear this shoe:
Entrepreneurship is not bad and should contain social components as well - but that's another discussion.
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